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Legionella death results in £300,000 fine for hospital

23 April 2018

Bristol Crown Court has been handed a fine of £300,000 to Royal United Hospital Bath following the death of a male patient from Legionnaires' disease.

Although the hospital had previously admitted guilt over the case, sentencing had been delayed from January this year.

The case was brought after the 68-year-old patient caught the infection during his treatment for cancer.

A previous warning to the hospital to update its plans to improve its water distribution system to reduce risk of water-borne disease had not been followed through at the time of patient's death.

This meant that no monitoring for legionella bacteria was in place for the William Budd ward annexe, where the patient was being treated, according to the BBC.

An apology was issued to the patient's family by its defence barrister, stating that the work should have been carried out more quickly.

It was also reported that another patient had died of the disease at the hospital in 2004.

Speaking about the latest case, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Susan Chivers said: "It is essential that organisations rview their risk control measures whenever there is reason to suspect that they are no longer valid or when there are changes to a water system."

The BBC also reported that the deceased patient's family had praised the HSE for pursuing the case, which had resulted in the necessary changes being made at the hospital.


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